The Beginning of a Servitization Journey

Jul 31, 2020 • FeaturesIDCWhite PaperDigital TransformationIFSServitization and Advanced Services

We continue our series of extracts from an excellent white paper published by IDC and sponsored by IFS, we will explore the IDC Servitization Barometer which is designed to allow field service organisations to chart their path to new revenue streams.

In part one we looked at the rapid and wide reaching change that is being faced by manufacturers in all sectors, in all regions. In part two we looked further at IDC's Servitization Maturity Framework. Now in part three see how the broad maturity of the sector against this model. 


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First Results From the Servitization Barometer

Now that we have established the requirements and benefits associated with servitization, it’s time to provide an overview of the current maturity status in this area. How far along in adoption and understanding are enterprises out there? Based on the Barometer results (Figure 5 below), IDC can confidently say that we are at the beginning of the journey.
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Based on IDC’s benchmark, 50% of organizations find themselves at Stage 2 (Side-Car), and another 14% are stuck in the nightmare of Splintered operations (Stage 1). A third of companies interviewed have started joining up their value chains (Stage 3), and less than 5% have reached “Nirvana” (Stage 4) and already opened up their service platforms to the ecosystem.
These results are broadly in line with how those organizations talk about their current status:
  • The wave is coming. The clear majority (91%) of organizations are either planning or already rolling out servitization initiatives. However, only 9% are blending most or all their product portfolio with advanced services.
  • Services will trigger the wave. Services generated on average 8% of the total revenue among physical value chain companies interviewed. This was slightly higher at 11% for companies with >$1B annual revenue. As with servitization plans, expectations are tilting to growth. On average, organizations expected services to account for 16% of total revenue in three years. This was a global trend consistent across all geographies. Organizations at more advanced stages of the servitization journey expect faster growth in that direction (see Figure 6 below).
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  • Revenue growth will depend on services. 38% of the organizations surveyed reported zero or negative revenue growth for the twelve months ending in July 2019. Another 53% were growing below 4% yearly and less than one company out of ten more than 5% yearly. This means even small improvements in services contribution can do wonders for growth trajectory. In fact, according to this Barometer, organizations that are more advanced in their servitization journey are already perceiving significantly higher revenue growth than their peers (see Figure 7 below).

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  • Best performers leverage data and strategic partnerships. The barometer reveals that organizations in Stages 3 and 4 are going beyond the traditional repair and maintenance services, as they are striving to grasp the new revenue streams linked to data-driven digital services that they deliver either by themselves or in collaboration with partners in adjacent industries (see Figure 8 below).

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A Deeper Look at Servitization Maturity

Servitization maturity is not equally spread across all types of companies. Nor is maturity equal across dimensions. The key findings on how IDC-assessed readiness changed in the organizations we talked to are:

  • Large companies are moving faster. Among organizations with less than $500 million in revenue, only 10% reached Stage 3 or 4. This contrasts with more than 50% in companies with $500–$1 billion annual revenue and more than 80% in companies with >$1 billion revenue.
  • Servitization is a cross-vertical topic. Sector of operation did not appear to influence the overall servitization speed, a sign that the topic is relevant in all physical value chains.
  • Some differences exist at the geographical level. Controlling for company size, organizations based in the UK, the US, and France appear slightly more advanced than counterparts in the Nordics and Germany. The first three countries reported between 40% and 50% of companies at Stage 3 or 4, versus approximately 25% in the latter two.

Digital and Customer Engagement are Areas of Concern

Key learnings gained by looking at readiness levels by dimension (Figure 5) include the following:

  • Intelligent IoT and service operations maturity track very closely to overall readiness. Service operation maturity is quintessential to servitization, so no big surprise here (see section below). However, IDC detected slightly higher than expected developments in the IoT space. Survey results showed that significant or complete portions of portfolio are already IoT-connected in 60% of organizations. However, data showed that the rarer ability to connect supply chain and production facilities was a much more important indicator of servitization maturity

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  • Backoffice is ahead of other areas, but integration with the front-end is missing. The base is decent: more than 85% of the sample have already standardized their processes. Half of them did so in a siloed fashion, half integrating multiple departments. Acceptance of change is the keyword for more than 70% organizations — a sign that enthusiasm is lacking. The real gap, however, is integration of the back-office and field service systems. Just 10% reported full work order integration and as many as 45% confessed to having only manual data integration, which really means no integration at all.
  • Customer engagement mindset is still far away. There is a lot of work to do around customercentricity, as only 50% of organizations are set up properly with either Net Promoter Score (NPS) alone or combined with advanced techniques. 40% collect anecdotal customer feedback and 10% measure only operational metrics. This reverberates in lacking technology investments on customer experience. 55% of companies reported phone, email, or basic Web portals as the only channels. IDC maintains that this is directly linked to the hit-and-miss DX attitude of the past few years, especially in midmarket companies.

Further Reading: